Windows 7 Narrator - Text to Speech.
Windows 7 Narrator is a basic but powerful text to speech software package that is included with the operating system. It works in the same manner as it did in Windows Vista. Narrator will read aloud what is on screen as you navigate using both your keyboard and mouse.
Reading - with character!
The Mac OS X uses great voice synthesis, but let’s face it, it’s limited. You can’t necessarily assign voices to your text and, if you wanted to hear what different folks have to say – like in a group or a meeting, well, that’s really limited too.
Narrator, one of the only text-to-speech solutions for the Mac, changes all of that.
Not just story-telling
Narrator has its professional uses. That business letter you’re ready to send to a prospective customer? Have Narrator read it out for you – you’ll know right away if what you wrote is what you want to have read. That big meeting where you took a lot of notes? Assign characters to each participant and listen again so you don’t miss anything.
Listening made easy
You can also export speech directly to iTunes, where you can listen to it over and over, or sync it to your iPad, iPod or iPhone. This enables you to create your own audiobooks from text — for example, take a work of classic literature from Project Gutenberg, assign characters to the story and export to iTunes. There is also an export option for AAC sound files for use with other sound playing software, for example, using as a soundtrack in iMovie or as a screencast voiceover.
A product that likes to learn
To help you improve the pronunciation of tricky words, Narrator includes Dictionary preferences. You enter a list of words to look for, and words or phrases to use instead when speaking. You can replace an acronym or symbol with a more elegant phrasing or spell words differently so they are pronounced correctly.
Addicted to audio?
13 NOVEMBER 2007 BY CATHY MOORE
Tom Kuhlmann has posted a thought-provoking demo that shows four ways to approach narrating a course.
The first three slides use some sort of narrated text. The final slide shows the best approach for that content, which is narration with visuals and no text.
My concern is that many people assume that narration is best for all content. However, research suggests that narration should be used only in certain situations.
Narration narrows cultural appeal
Also, narration puts a cultural stamp on your materials. A Flash that could be global gets a blatant “Made in America” label when I narrate it.
Narration is important for pre-writers because it lays a foundation for future writing skills by developing a child’s understanding, vocabulary, expression, and storytelling abilities. If a child learns to narrate early on, writing a story, summary, or short essay will eventually be an easy (and even fun!) task. http://keepinglifecreative.com/reading-fun/teaching-narration-with-visual-aids/
Frogs! (1991) - "I'm particularly interested in amphibians"
Southwestern tribes are particularly vulnerable (податливи) to climate change
Southwestern tribes are particularly vulnerable to climate change, which is likely to affect their cultural practices, water rights, and socioeconomic conditions, reports the Navajo-Hopi Observer. “Native American communities are socially, culturally, and politically unique and must be involved in the debates and decisions related to climate change to avoid unintended consequences or conflicts between local governments and agencies.” http://www.swcsc.arizona.edu/announcements/southwestern-tribes-particularly-vulnerable-climate-change
Seniors on fixed incomes particularly vulnerable to investment scams
BY LUANN LASALLE
The Canadian Press
Greedy or naive investors can be easily convinced by scammers to invest in get-rich quick schemes before they’ve had a chance to do their homework, say experts.
“They’re nasty. They’re heartless. They’re ruthless,” said Daniel Williams of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
“But they’re not stupid. They know the buttons to push. They’ll spot a weakness from a mile away,” he said, adding that scammers can be successful targeting vulnerable people such as those who experienced a death in their family or illness.
How to Bypass iPhone Passcode
This article will tell you the easiest way to bypass the iPhone passcode. This method takes a little bit of practice, and you still won't be able to access much beyond contacts and call history, but it's a start.http://www.wikihow.com/Bypass-iPhone-Passcode
How to Skip/Bypass Surveys (2013) (Easy & Fast Tutorial)
5 Ways to Bypass Internet Censorship and Filtering
More and more Internet connections are being filtered, from public Wi-Fi and workplace connection filtering to ISP and country-level censorship. However, there are still ways to get around this filtering and view blocked websites.
Some of these methods may be restricted by harsh filtering. For example, the Great Firewall of China is now interfering with outgoing VPN connections, although VPNs were left alone for years.http://www.howtogeek.com/167418/5-ways-to-bypass-internet-censorship-and-filtering/
Draw Straws and Matches (кибритени клечки)
Who’s getting the next beer? Who’s going to tell the boss? Who’s going to take the rubbish out? There are few questions more important than these. So why not let the good old straw decide? Or maybe a match instead? That’s okay as well. It’s impartial, honest and kind of masculine. It’s all about the little things in life.And if you draw the short straw – or match – then you can’t do anything about it. You have to get running, go and do it, or put your neck on the line. The odds are in your favour. Use them! This is the most useful game since indecision was invented! It is for 1-6 players, either with straws or matches. “Draw Straws and Matches” is designed purely for entertainment.http://www.hotchiliapps.com/?p=78
Short straws mean shortened terms
By Tom Maurer, The Oregonian
on October 18, 2007 at 2:00 PM, updated October 18, 2007 at 2:16 PM
You all know how it goes: If you draw the short straw, you get the short end of the deal.
Oddly enough, board members of the Northwest Regional Education Service Districtwill actually draw straws in November to determine whose term expires in June and who continues until June 2010.
At the fate of their own picking, four of the nine board members will cut their terms short. The drawing will be organized so two of the five elected members and two of the four appointed members will pick shorter straws.
The goal is to stagger terms so a single election won't wipe out a majority of the board, said Superintendent Jim Mabbott. All terms now end June 2010.
The service district -- Oregon's largest -- serves 20 school districts ranging from printing materials to operating alternative schools. The coverage area includes Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and Washington counties.
As part of legislative reforms in 2005, the service district was one of three in the state that switched to a new election model. Local school leaders, rather than the public, would elect members for the board. Five elected members took office July 1, 2006 and appointed four members the following month.
The board's meeting is Nov. 20 at the Columbia Service Center in St. Helens. If a board member doesn't make it to the meeting to draw straws, Mabbott said the board will implement plan B: picking names from a hat.
What is Exploratory Testing?
Exploratory software testing is a powerful and fun approach to testing. In some situations, it can be orders of magnitude more productive than scripted testing. I haven't found a tester yet who didn't, at least unconsciously, perform exploratory testing at one time or another. Yet few of us study this approach, and it doesn't get much respect in our field. It's high time we stop the denial, and publicly recognize the exploratory approach for what it is: scientific thinking in real-time. Friends, that's a good thing.
Concurrent Test Design and Execution
The plainest definition of exploratory testing is test design and test execution at the same time. This is the opposite of scripted testing (predefined test procedures, whether manual or automated). Exploratory tests, unlike scripted tests, are not defined in advance and carried out precisely according to plan.
Uncover surprises, risks, and potentially serious bugs with exploratory testing. Rather than designing all tests in advance, explorers design and execute small, rapid experiments, using what they learned from the last little experiment to inform the next. Learn essential skills of a master explorer, including how to analyze software to discover key points of vulnerability, how to design experiments on the fly, how to hone your observation skills, and how to focus your efforts.
SOFTIE MIRROR EXPLORATORY
Availability: In stock
Excl. Tax: £65.95Incl. Tax: £79.14
Product Code: 63204
Made from rigid foam, the Mirror Exploratory is ideal for imaginative play. The parallel sides reflect images backwards and forwards to infinity. Folds flate when not in use.
Books to Enthuse the History Nerd
I love World War II history and reading about it, my friend got me "In the Garden of the Beasts" by Erik Larson, a book about an American family living in Berlin under Hitler, and then a book of personal interest to him called "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne, which is about Quanah Parker. Apparently the latter was a finalist for the Pultizer Prize. Cool! I can't wait to read these. Thanks Jim!
How to Become a More Enthused Reader
Do you ever feel like you need to read more? If you are finding it hard to find the right level of enthusiasm to get stuck into a book longer than a comic or magazine short story, it is time to learn the tricks to becoming more enthused about reading. This article provides some ideas to help you on your way.
It’s hard to imagine how the expression “more fun than a barrel of monkeys” came about, however it seems to have been a cause of great amusement over the generations.
In the Milwaukee Journal of July 27, 1938 the newspaper ran an article entitled, “Zoo Curator To Live On Island With 50 Monkeys For Medical Experiments.” The headline sounded outrageous and in keeping with the headline, Steven M. Spencer wrote:
If anything is “more fun than a barrel of monkeys” it must be a whole island of monkeys with a few apes thrown in for good measure. And if anyone is capable of raising monkeys and apes on an island and deriving amusement and useful knowledge therefrom, it would be Primatologist Michael I. Tomilin, whose gruff and dour Russian exterior masks a rich fund of wit and an unusual aptitude for scientific “monkey business.”
In 1913, French mathematician Émile Borel — whose speciality at that time was hyperbolic geometry and special relativity — used monkeys as central characters in his research, “Mécanique Statistique et Irréversibilité.”
Concevons qu’on ait dressé un million de singes à frapper au hasard sur les touches d’une machine à écrire … [translation: Let us imagine a million monkeys typing haphazardly on typewriters …”
It was the predecessor of the infinite monkey theorem that believes that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will likely write something worth reading. Of course, the idea of a million monkeys sitting behind typewriters and working diligently at creating literary works is, in itself, a funny concept.
But getting back to the saying, more fun than a barrel of monkeys, the Los Angeles Timescarried a news article on February 18, 1896 entitled, “At The Play House” that reported:
… the merry little dwarf, is as funny as a barrel of monkeys when he does nothing but walk around the stage …
Just a few months earlier, the Chicago Daily Tribune ran a story on September 28, 1895 about the Republican Convention in Syracuse, New York that stated that the affair was “more fun than a barrel of monkeys.”
The saying was obviously used by people from different class distinctions. And the ease with which the saying was used in the story indicates that it was part of every day speech among people of different social classes.
For those not familiar with the toy, the standard Barrel of Monkeys® consists of a large number of individual monkey pieces, each about 7cm by 5cm in size. Each monkey has its arms extended in a hook shape in opposite directions. These arms can easily be interlinked to form a chain of monkeys, which is the intended use of the toy. Imprinted on the barrel are instructions for a couple of simple games.